Centre Georges Pompidou (the Pompidou Centre), also known as le centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, is a cultural centre in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, home to institutions dedicated to modern art. The building of the centre is in the high-tech architectural style.
The complex consists of the Bibliothèque publique d'information, a huge public library which can accommodate over 2,000 readers, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, which is the largest museum devoted to modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a music and acoustic research centre. Moreover, in the building you can also find educational activity areas, bookshops, a restaurant and a café.
The Pompidou Centre, popularly known as the Beaubourg, was named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 and the initiator of the project, who wanted to create a cultural institution entirely dedicated to contemporary art. The inauguration of the centre took place on 31 January 1977 and since then it has been visited by over 190 million visitors. Today, it is one of the most visited attractions in France, visited by some 6 million people every year.
The building of the centre was designed by two young architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. It is almost entirely made of glass and metal and so its unconventional structure slightly resembles an oil refinery. Many functional elements, like escalators, water pipes and air conditioning, were placed outside the building, further adding to its futuristic looks. The building is coloured white, while the colour-coded ducts and pipes attached to its west façade are: blue (for air), green (for fluids), yellow (electricity cables), and red (elevators). People can admire this modern construction and parts of its interior from the big piazza in front of the centre.
Each year the Centre Pompidou holds over thirty exhibitions of contemporary and modern art as well as cinema screenings, conferences, symposiums and concerts.
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